Selections from the newspaper about
public TV and radio in the United States

Knight Foundation backs launch planning for PBS’s Public Square

Originally published in Current, Dec. 19, 2005

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $2.5 million challenge grant to help launch Public Square, the public affairs multicast service PBS developed with its backing in 2004. Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen, former PBS Board chairman, announced the grants Dec. 14 during the Digital Futures Initiative Summit [separate article].

The foundation also gave PBS $500,000 to pilot Global Watch, a nightly hour co-produced by KCET in Los Angeles and KQED in San Francisco. PBS’s National Program Service will distribute the pilot, but the news program will continue exclusively on Public Square.

PBS plans to pair it with ITVS Presents, a showcase of films backed by the Independent Television Service with interstitial elements drawn from video blogs and viewer commentaries.

PBS must raise $5 million to meet the terms of Knight’s challenge grant for Public Square, according to Lea Sloan, spokeswoman.

PBS is discussing with the creators of the World multicast service — New York’s WNET and Boston’s WGBH — whether to fold Public Square into World.

Web page posted Dec. 19, 2005
Copyright 2005 by Current Publishing Committee


PBS developed its Public Square plans with a Knight grant awarded two years ago.

PBS also used the name Public Square for a proposed series earlier in the decade. (The ambitious project didn't find funding.)


PBS announced the grant and plans for Public Square the day before the first report of its Digital Futures Initiative, which endorsed the idea.


Knight Foundation press release.


Navig include